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South African tourism minister survives carjacking attempt

February 26, 2015

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — South African’s minister of tourism survived an attempted carjacking, as his bodyguards and the carjackers exchanged fire with the attackers, police said on Thursday.

Three men in a Volkswagen Golf followed Minister Derek Hanekom’s vehicle on Monday night as he approached the driveway outside his home in the Johannesburg suburb of Kensington, police spokeswoman Noxolo Kweza said. One of the men walked up to Hanekom’s car, carrying a gun, and ordered his driver out of his car, said Kweza in a statement.

The tourism minister’s bodyguards exchanged fire with the carjackers, who later fled, she said. The cabinet minister and his protectors were unharmed, although the vehicle was slightly damaged. Hanekom is also senior member of the ruling African National Congress.

The incident was a random crime and not targeted at Hanekom, said Kweza.

One of the hijackers dropped a 9mm pistol which police say was used in a robbery in another part of the city last month.

“Police are following several leads and hope to make a break through on the case soon,” said Kweza.

Last year, the Gauteng province, which is home to the city of Johannesburg, had more than 6,000 carjackings, more than half of the national total, according to police statistics.

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